In Moonlight Bay, the hours after midnight can be a time of terror
Dean Koontz's novels have sold over 200 million copies worldwide and more than 30 have appeared on national and international bestseller lists. He lives in southern California with his wife, Gerda.
Koontz (Sole Survivor, LJ 2/15/97) presents a masterly tale of one night in the California coastal town of Moonlight Bay as experienced by Chris Snow. Saddled with a genetic defect that makes direct sunlight toxic to him, Snow is a nocturnal creature whose father has just died. When he discovers that his father's corpse has been stolen, he begins pursuit. Koontz expertly illuminates Snow's nocturnal world and friends, and incrementally, cleverly, the crises erupting in Moonlight Bay take shape. The plot is wonderfully unpredictable, and though the surfer slang wears thin after a while, the narrative remains taut. Although the ending leaves some questions unanswered, this is still good entertainment. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/97.]‘Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals, Framingham, Mass.
'A moral fable for the turn of the millennium, an engagingly written, hugely entertaining parable for our times' The TimesThis is a moral fable for the turn of the millennium, an engagingly written, hugely entertaining parable for our times - The TimesThe night-time setting and peculiarly burdened hero make for instant atmosphere. Koontz is at his best - The Express on Sunday'Fast and furious - like a hospital trolley on a toboggan run' Maily on Sunday'Readers will be riveted to the narrative' Publishers WeeklyKoontz presents a unique fictional world grounded in convincing detail - Publishers WeeklyFast and furious - like a hospital trolley on a tobogan run - The Mail on Sunday'Scary. Koontz can really spook, and his dialogue and pacing rival the best' New York Post
YA-Christopher Snow understands the night. He, like the owl, is nocturnal, living on the mysterious darker edge of society. Snow is afflicted with xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare and often-fatal genetic disease that makes ultraviolet rays-even those from lamps and televisions-deadly. His condition makes him a pariah in the isolated small town of Moonlight Bay where the ignorant and insensitive fear what they do not know. As the action begins, Snow's father dies, leaving him with only a handful of offbeat but fiercely loyal friends to turn to for understanding. At the morgue, Snow accidentally witnesses his father's body being replaced with the mutilated corpse of a vagrant. Before he can find out what is behind this scandal, he receives a frantic summons from a friend who is brutally murdered before she can finish explaining a strange story about monkeys and a secret project at the government compound at the edge of town. What begins as a disturbing puzzle quickly becomes a sinister conspiracy as Snow uncovers evidence of uncanny intelligence in many of the local animals and inhumanely vicious tendencies in some of the human residents of the Bay. They are "becoming" he learns, but becoming what? Chilling chase scenes steadily increase the breakneck pace as Snow, assisted by his remarkable dog, is pursued through the night by unseen forces. Despite some clunky and unnecessary surfer slang, fans will go wild for this well-plotted thriller.-Robin Deffendall, Prince William Public Library System, VA
An owl, the moon, an "eldritch light"‘such are the images that Koontz plants throughout his latest novel to stress the bond between his narrator, Christopher Snow, and the night world that Snow must embrace. Snow suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare skin disorder that hampers cell repair from sun damage. Few who have it survive as long as the 28 years Snow has endured. Two years earlier, his mother died. Now his father has passed away from cancer, leaving him with the enigmatic directive: "Fear nothing." Snow and his dog, Orson, join forces with his surfer pal, Bobby Halloway, to solve the mystery of what happened to Snow's father's corpse, which has vanished, and of why his father's nurse, Angela Ferryman, was murdered after babbling about rhesus monkeys and a clandestine experiment that involved his mother. Snow soon discovers unusual intelligence in the local animals, encounters further riddles from an eccentric "animal communicator" and comes to realize that he can trust only his closest friends as he investigates past activities inside a nearby abandoned military base. As usual, Koontz presents a unique fictional world grounded in convincing detail; even the surf-lingo banter between the main characters plays its part, adding an ironic note that heightens tension. This is only the second book Koontz has written from a first-person point of view, and the ploy works well: readers will be riveted to the narrative as Snow anticipates a genetically engineered Armageddon. Koontz's familiar theme of life's victims defying the odds emerges here as forcefully as it does in Sole Survivor and Intensity, but Snow's physical limitation gives it a more dangerous and intriguing edge. BDD audio. (Jan.) FYI: While not releasing specific figures on the first printing or the promotional budget, Bantam is saying that Fear Nothing will be backed by "the largest Dean Koontz Consumer Marketing Campaign Ever."